Reopening of further businesses and venues in England postponed

Last Friday, the Prime Minister announced that until 15 August at the earliest, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed, and that indoor performances will not resume.

Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will also not be permitted. Data on the prevalence of the virus in the community in England will continue to be carefully reviewed in order to move forward with the intention to open up these higher risk settings as soon as possible.

UK Chambers please share this information with your members and see further details on our Coronavirus Hub.


BCC responds to the postponement of lockdown easing

Take a look back at our response to the Prime Minister’s announcement that the government will introduce new local restrictions and postpone the planned re-opening for some business from 1 August. Share with your members on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Local Restrictions – North of England, Leicester and Luton

North of England – Local restrictions

An outbreak of Coronavirus has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire. The UK government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus and local restrictions are in place. Businesses and workplaces should continue as before in these areas.

Going to work: People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces must implement Covid-19 Secure guidance.

Working in other people’s homes: Working in other people’s homes can continue. Covid-19 Secure guidance on working safely in other people’s homes should be followed.

Social contact: In the affected areas people should not socialise with people they do not live with in indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. If you run such a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.

Business closures: In Blackburn with Darwen and in Bradford, the following premises must remain closed by law: indoor gyms, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor sports courts and facilities, and indoor swimming pools.

UK Chambers can find further information on all areas with additional local restrictions on our Coronavirus Hub.

Job Retention Bonus

The UK government have today published further information on the Job Retention Bonus (JRB), including:


Which employers can claim the JRB, including clarifying the eligibility of employers that have employees who have been transferred under Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations or due to a change in ownership;
Which employees an eligible employer can claim the JRB for, including clarifying eligibility for employees returning from statutory parental leave, for military reservists and employees who are on fixed term contracts;
What employers should do now if they intend to claim the Job Retention Bonus.

More information about the Job Retention Bonus is available on our Coronavirus Hub. Please note that full guidance, including on how employers will be able to claim the JRB, will be available by the end of September.

Face coverings required in additional indoor settings

From 8 August the requirement to wear a face covering will be extended to other indoor settings where people are likely to come into contact with others they do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. UK Chambers please share with your members.


Advocacy update – 4 August

Take a look at the weekly roundup from the BCC Advocacy team including a summary of BCC engagements, upcoming activities and key dates. Please contact the BCC policy team with any queries, case studies or insights ahead of future meetings.

Association of Colleges Roundtables

The Association of Colleges has released its vision for the future of colleges across the UK and is inviting interested Chambers to its regional Zoom roundtables to discuss the future role of Colleges.

Roundtable dates as follows:

21 August – Sheffield College, 10am-12pm
26 August – Sunderland College, 10am-12pm
2 September – Bridgwater and Taunton, 10am-12pm
3 September – Walsall College, 10am-12pm
Wales, Glasgow and Northern Ireland – dates to follow

Please contact Jenny John at the Association of Colleges for more information.

Advice for Visa Customers who need to Apply for a Passport

The UK government has released advice for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas, who need to apply for a passport and who are affected by travel restrictions associated with Coronavirus.

New Employer Incentives for Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Kickstarter

The Department for Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency has created a webinar briefing presentation deck for Chambers, explaining the new employer incentives for Apprenticeships, Traineeships and Kickstarter.

If you would like to host a local webinar briefing for your members, please contact Nichola Akers at the National Apprenticeship Service.

‘Survival to revival’ – listen back to the webinar with Swoop

Listen back to the recording of Tuesday’s webinar with our friends from Swoop and hear from their CEO Andrea Reynolds on how businesses can finance their post-Covid recovery and protect their financial health. UK Chambers can share this link with your members.


Swoop is a BCC affinity partner and provides the Chamber Finance Finder platform, a tool for members which facilitates access to finance solutions that will protect their current and future financial health, including measures related to Coronavirus.


If you’d like to know more about the scheme and discuss how this could become part of your own member benefits contact Luke Flinders.